Wellington, FL - “He fights for me in the ring; he tries very hard for me,” said Endel Ots, commenting on his partner in success, the eight-year-old Lucky Strike (Lord Laurie x His Highness). “I think he likes showing. He likes going out there; he likes the crowds, he likes the people, and he really shines in the show ring.”
On Saturday, April 14, at the Gold Coast Finale Show in Wellington, Ots and the beautiful black Lucky Strike continued their winning ways by claiming the Developing Prix St. George Class Qualifier. Co-owned by Ots and his father, Max Ots, the towering 18-hand Hanoverian gelding impressed the judges and earned a high score of 77.941% to win the class; the pair earned the overall high score of the show as well.
Ots remarked on the highlight of their test, saying, “The trot work, again. His canter work is getting stronger. He’s such a big horse so it takes him a little bit to get the canter work as strong as it can be, but both judges commented how nice the harmony was between us, and the harmony was definitely the highlight for me.
“I think it puts him in first place for the USDF qualifications for the USEF Developing Prix St. George,” Ots continued. “I’m very excited about it. We earned 79% from one judge and 76% from the other judge. It was a very clean ride, and each time he goes out he gets more and more comfortable and more solid in the test in the ring.”
Known for his careful and methodical way of bringing along young prospects, Ots said, “I really try to connect with my young horses. I try not to push them too hard or too fast. Because Lucky Strike is a younger horse doing this test and because he is such a big horse and he has to get stronger, I have waited until the end of season to be able to take him out and show him. I did a couple of easy shows to start out with to get him accustomed to showing again and back in the ring.”
Ots will continue to work on the Prix St. Georges test with the goal of making his horse’s canter work even stronger. “I plan to show him this summer and prepare for the national young horse championships in Chicago. We’ll do a couple more shows to get him even more tuned up and ready for the championships in August. The goal for next year is the Pan Am Games in Peru.”
Originally from De Pere, Wisconsin, Ots, who now calls Wellington, Florida home, has been competing since a young age and has been enjoying international victories for the past several years. Known for his talent and ability to give a leg-up to younger riders, he coached Bebe Davis and Fiderhit OLD, winners of the Individual Gold medal at the 2014 Adequan/FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Dressage Championships. He also coached Chase Hickok to become the top-scoring American rider on the FEI Nations Cup teams for Fasterbo, Sweden, and Hickstead, England in 2017.